Health Needs in Watford City | VideoMichelle San Miguel | 11/5/2012
Nurse practitioners at Anova Family Health Center treat patients with acute and chronic conditions. They also perform baby check-ups and annual wellness visits.
"We were hearing from different healthcare entities that individuals are driving 50 miles, 100 miles just to be seen for an ear infection, sore throats, whatever. You would call the local clinic here in town and we heard that people were two weeks out for something very acute that needed to be seen," said Anita Pedersen, FNP.
So Pedersen and nurse practitioner Vonnie Johnson decided the timing was right to open their own family clinic. The location they chose is not an ideal spot, they`re sharing a building with an auto service center and a drug testing company, but it`s a temporary fix.
"Our biggest problem was finding a physical space and that was due to obvious reasons because of the oil activity and every building, every nook and cranny of open space is tied up," Pedersen said.
While space is tight here at the clinic, patients say they`re just happy to be able to see a provider on short notice. The clinic opened a week ahead of schedule after patients began walking in, looking for care.
"We just had people walking in saying: will you please see my baby? My baby is sick and so finally we just said we`re gonna open up and see what happens," Pedersen said.
Carla Hall brought her daughter in with stomach pain. Hall says it doesn`t bother her that the providers here aren`t doctors.
"I`m fine with her seeing the best provider that they have available, and as a woman I would rather see a woman, and sometimes you only get that with a nurse practitioner."
These nurse practitioners have long dreamt of opening a clinic in their hometown. And the timing could not have been better, as the need for healthcare in oil country keeps getting bigger.
The Anova Family Health Center is looking to eventually move into a bigger facility. Right now, the clinic is located at 113 Main Street in Watford City.